San Antonio Spurs assistant coach, Becky Hammon became the NBA’s first female assistant coach.
Last year she become the first woman to interview for a head coaching job in the NBA when the Milwaukee Bucks interviewed the Spurs assistant coach, following the Bucks’ first round playoff exit last year.
Hammon is no stranger to being a first. The 16 year WNBA vet and six-time WNBA all-star coached the Spurs’ summer league team in the NBA’s Las Vegas Summer League and guided them to a championship in 2015.
One person who is on board with Hammon breaking equality walls down and becoming a head coach is Los Angeles Sparks guard, Cappie Pondexter.
“I mean the foundation is definitely set,” Cappie Pondexter told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“Basketball isn’t about a gender.”
A two-time WNBA champion, in 2016, Pondexter who recently retired was named to the WNBA’s Top 20 @ 20, a list of the top 20 players of all-time in the WNBA in celebration of the league’s twentieth anniversary. The
A 7-time WNBA All-Star, Pondexter respects Hammon’s body of work.
“Becky Hammon has a unique position and I think if we were to see any woman be a coach it would be her,” she said.
“And I don’t think anybody is more deserving than her because she kind of laid that foundation for us to be able to jump into the men’s game and she’s done a great job at being professional. It has to be hard being in the locker room around those guys all the time, you know what I mean? And being able to be a true professional says a lot about her and that organization. So I’m excited for the future of the game, not just on the men’s side, but the woman’s side, as well. I think we’re growing our game and I think that’s the most important part.”
So if not Becky Hammon as the first woman to become head coach of an NBA team, then who?
“You’ve got Nancy Lieberman out there,you have an array of people that want to coach.” said Pondexter.
As a high school junior, Lieberman represented the United States at the Pan American Games in 1975.
The following year she made the Olympic team, earning a silver medal, the youngest basketball medal winner in the history of the Olympics.
Lieberman played on the U.S. Women’s National Team in 1989 and with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercuryfor one season. A Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996, Lieberman served as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation from 1998–2000.
“If any woman wants to coach in the NBA: hey go for it. I think it can happen and there is no better time than right now, because this is the year of the woman. Hey, I support. I believe in equality wholeheartedly and yeah, I would love to see that happen.”